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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gracie's Dove

Many thanks to Jessica at Heaven's Dove for doing a dove for Gracie!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When Will it End?

When will babies stop dying?  Really.  When?  Will we see it in our lifetime?  We found out today that people that we have known for over twenty years lost a grandson to stillbirth on Friday.  It's bad enough that babies die...but it seems like it always happens to normal, mainstream people who want and can provide for these children...and the crack whores of the world get to take their babies home every day...babies that some how come out healthy despite living in the most toxic of environments for 9 months.  I just don't get it.  Please join me in sending up prayers, warm thoughts and strength for little Marcus Alexander, his parents and his grandparents as they all begin this long, winding and bumpy journey.

I've been hanging out here in the baby loss blogosphere for over a year now, and it still saddens and amazes me how many people join this club every month.  I spend lots of time wondering how often baby loss happened to people around us before Gracie many happened that we were/are completely blind to???  On the other side of the coin, I find it amazing that so many women here find a way to offer some kind of amazing service to help us remember our little ones and help bring baby loss (in general) to light.

It all makes me wonder about the BLMs who never look for or find online support of any kind.  They don't find BCC, Daily Strength, Still Babies or the baby loss blogosphere.  I wonder what their support is like.  Do they go to a real life support group that provides everything they need?  Do they go to counseling that meets all of their emotional needs?  Do they know other BLMs (in real life) that they can lean on?  Do they have some other kind of outlet or do they just wing it from one day to the next?  And what about the BLDs?  There are so few of them openly floating around online.  And how many of them are like my hubby, who with lots of nudging and encouragement, finally nosed around online for fathers groups/forums only to find that most of them had been infiltrated by women?  (And in his words, "what's the point of going online to have women tell me how to grieve?  I already get it everywhere I go...on a daily basis.")  Do most of them just suck it up in true man-style and have periodic meltdowns when no one else is looking?  Are they ready to explode?  Certainly, they can't all be as "okay" as they claim to be.

I think about the time that I have spent here in the blogosphere and a few other online support forums.  I have met so many wonderfully supportive women here, some of whom I have come to know quite well and communicate with on a regular basis.  We are all so different, yet we have one common and very unique bond - the death of our babies.  I sometimes wonder what my post-Gracie life and grieving process would be like if I had not met these women, especially the ones that I communicate with on a regular basis. Sometimes I wonder what life in general would be like without these women...with or without Gracie. 

I think about my grief and how it sometimes just spins.  There is no doubt that sometimes it spins because I come here and write or read and bring myself down; on the other side of the coin, there is no doubt that there are times that I come here because I am just spinning endlessly and can't break out of it.  Sometimes I wonder if the spinning would stop if I just stopped participating as a member of the baby loss community all together - blogging, support group, FB - and then I realize how utterly ridiculous of a thought that really is.  There is no way to not be a member of this community anymore.  It is a bell that cannot be unrung, and it is a bell that automatically starts the spinning. 

In closing, I want to send warm thoughts, hugs and love to Maggie, Margaret and Laura.  On a happier note, if you don't know about Tina's 25 Days of Giveaways, check it out!  It will kick off soon!  Wishing you all a peaceful week!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thank Yous

Many thanks going out to Jen @  Lily's Mommy Forever  for doing Gracie's name.  I love it, Jen!!

Thanks also to Casey for painting Gracie's Treasure Bean.  It's perfect!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Last Few Weeks

Who gets to determine when the old ends and the new begins? It's not a day on a calendar, not a birthday, not a new year. It's an event --big or small, something that changes us. Ideally it gives us hope. A new way of living and looking at the world. Letting go of old habits, old memories. What's important is that we never stop believing we can have a new beginning. But it's also important to remember that amid all the crap are a few things really worth holding on to.

I have determined that I must watch way to much Grey's Anatomy, since I have been quoting it quite regularly over the last few months.  I have nothing specific to say about this quote other than it just seemed to fit perfectly at the moment I heart it, and it just seems to fit in general.  I feel like it provides that little porthole for someone to look through and perhaps begin to understand another person that they didn't previously understand.

We were not able to get to the cemetery on October fact we have not been there in a month.  To observe the day, we did the wave of light and released 3 balloons from home.  My father and step-mom live less than a mile from the cemetery; I sent some balloons with her to leave in the cemetery when I relieved her from her babysitting duties...but it just wasn't the same. 

Gracie's wall

Continued prayers are needed for little Eleanor Joy.  I got an update at the end of last week that she is still in the NICU and that her respiratory status had been deteriorating instead of improving.  Keep up that positive energy, girls!  On the same front, a new couple attended our support group meeting last month.  There is always someone new out's just not right.  As proof of the lack of support in this area, they drove about an hour one way to get to our group.  Also in the prayer department, the suspected cancer in my MIL's colon has been confirmed.  She will have surgery tomorrow to completely remove the section of colon that is left.  Keeping things in the family, my heart continues to break for my BIL.  His birthday was Friday, and we had him over for dinner.  Dinner was good, but he wasn't really here.  He was in the same place that many of us experienced on our first post-loss birthday.  Part of him is forever missing, and many other parts are permanently damaged.  During the dark and low moments, he leaves messages on her FB wall that just absolutely break my heart.  I so wish I could fix it all for him. 

In other 'news', I had an awkward encounter at Tar.get two weeks ago.  I ran into a speech therapist who works in one of the elementary schools that I am in every week to provide services.  I am known throughout the building by most of the teachers and at least half of them sent us sympathy cards a year ago for Gracie's death.  Anyway, this speech therapist started fussing over Jenna as soon as she saw us.  And then she looked at me and said "Your first was a boy, right?"  I said "no, a girl," to which she responded "Oh...well, how is she adjusting?"  Seriously???   Come on.  I stuttered for a moment, partly because her teenage daughter was also standing there, but then I said "Well, actually she never came home from the hospital with us, so there's not really an adjustment period."  The look on her face said "Holy did I not know this?!?!" but the only words to come from her mouth were "Oh.  I'm sorry."  Then we awkwardly parted ways.  Scarring encounter?  Not really...just bizarre.  I am in that building every week.  I run into that woman every's been that way for 4 years now.  Half (no exaggeration) of the teachers in that building sent us sympathy cards, so I know people were talking about it.  The same people who sent us cards went out of their way to keep tabs on my pregnancy with Jenna.  How in the world did she not know that my daughter died?  How?  *sigh*

I have been missing Gracie a lot lately.  I love Jenna more than words can explain, but sometimes I look at her and my mind just wanders a little bit.  I wonder about all of the things that will never be with Gracie.  I look at pictures of the kids we know who are about the same age that Gracie would be, and I wonder.  There is one particular kiddo that hits me pretty hard each time I see her picture or encounter her.  Sucks.  Just sucks.  Some days I would really like to just turn off the wondering part of my brain. 

In closing, I feel like I need to include a little disclaimer just in case anyone reading here is in a sensitive place and having difficulty reading about certain topics.  I have worked hard since announcing pregnancy with Jenna to more or less keep Jenna in Jenna's blog and out of Gracie's blog.  Now that she is here and she is part of everything that we do, it's hard to keep her completely out of this space.  It's hard to draw a line and post Gracie only in this blog and Jenna only in Jenna's blog.  The line blurs a lot now.  So, here is the disclaimer.  There will be periodic mention of rainbow baby/living child(ren)/TTC in the future/pregnancy/Jenna here on Gracie's blog. 

Wishing you all a good week...and a good Thanksgiving if I don't get back here before then. 

The Last Six Days of Questions

I was not able to keep up at the end of October, so I did not get the last 6 questions answered.  Just so I can say that I did it, here we go...

Day 25 - your day, in great detail
No one really wants to hear about this in any more detail than this...  I get up, change baby, feed baby, pump, change baby, go to work, pull my hair out at work and spend as much time trying to figure out how to clone myself as I do treating patients (but with the new full time therapist on board it's not nearly as bad as it was a year I just have to get caught up!), eat lunch, pump, see more patients and do more paperwork, go home to eat dinner, pump, feed baby, change baby, feed baby again, change baby again, pump again and go to bed. 

Day 26 - your week, in great detail
It's like Groundhog Day at this've seen one day, you've basically seen them all at this point. 

Day 27 - your worst habit since your child's death
Impulse buying...but only specific to Gracie.  If I see something that screams 'I am me,' well, I buy it.  I buy it regardless of whether or not I have something specific to do with it.  I buy it regardless of whether or not I really have the money to spend.  I think that on some level I am afraid that if I do not buy these things, her memory will fade, even though there is really no direct connection between Gracie and these items.

Day 28 - what's in your handbag/purse
I am not a fan of the purse is really an overized wallet on a strap.  The 'cargo' compartment is just big enough to hold a 6 oz. baby bottle and my keys at the same time.  Oddly enough, when I was in high school I had one of those stylin' straw/wicker purses that contained about 5 pounds of loose change and everything but the kitchen sink. 

Day 29 - hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days
  • I am hoping that something very specific happens to give our financial standing a boost.  If that happens, we will be able to move forward from our present standstill on house renovations.  This would be HUGE for me.  We have been unsettled in this house for 10 years now, and right now only half of it is liveable. 
  • I am hoping to get caught up at the office so I can resume some face to face marketing and get caught up with some other professional necessities that have fallen to the wayside over the last year.  I would like this year to be the year that my business really takes off. 
  • I would love to go to Namibia (Africa) in April with my dad and step-mom to visit my sister.  In a month she will be coming home for 3 weeks, but I would love to spend a week visiting the place that has been her home for a year (and will be her home for one more year to come).  Unfortunately, finances and Jenna are more or less putting the kabash on that. 
  • I am hoping that death, illness and disease steer clear of my friends and family over coming year.  We have had our share over the last 18 months...we are all ready for a little smooth sailing.
  • I hope to see successful births of all of the tiny little lives presently growing in so many of my BLM friends. 
  • I am going to work hard to help my body heal from the damages of back to back pregnancies in hopes that in a year's time we will be in the very beginning stages of baby #3.
  • Last, but certainly not least, I am going to enjoy my daughter.  I am going to eat up every minute that I can get with her and shower her with all the love she deserves. 

Day 30 - a dream for the future
My dream is quite simple.... for my business to provide a steady and reliable income sufficient enough to make life comfortable for us.  By comfortable, I mean for it to provide enough funds for us to finish our remodeling/rehabing of our home, to maintain reliable vehicles, to provide the things that our children need and reasonably want as they grow up, to be able to travel with our children and expose them to life outside of this sleepy little town, to help our children with their post-secondary educations and to allow us a relatively comfortable retirement.  It's  not all about money, but it sure helps to make things more comfortable and take the worry out of so many things.  In the long run, it will all of these other things fall into place.